|Dominick Guinn: “I’m not giving up on this, I will be back!”
INTERVIEW By Benny Henderson Jr - A.K.A "Big Dog" (Oct 17, 2006)
Starting over isn’t a pleasant party, and when the situation is far less than satisfying and the goals you’ve set are seemingly slipping from your grasp, there comes a time to stand back and evaluate the position that you are in. In the face of multiple defeats, do you walk away with what you have accomplished and be happy, or do you make the required career modifications, persevere and fight on, regardless of what the outcome may be? For Dominick Guinn it is the latter. Despite his recent setbacks and shortcomings, the 31 year-old former heavyweight standout isn’t ready to throw in the towel just yet.
After winning a Bronze Medal at the 1998 Goodwill Games, it would only be fitting that the former amateur standout would have a triumphant professional career. Starting off in the summer of 2000, the Hot Springs, Georgia heavyweight made good with his projected future winning his debut with a first round TKO victory over Leroy Hollis. The highly touted rising star lived up to his billing, winning his first 24 bouts, defeating the likes of Charles Hatcher (TKO 9), Michael Grant (TKO 7) and Duncan Dokiwari (UD 10). Guinn was well on his way to the top.
In March of 2004, Guinn was ready to square off in front of his hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas against the rugged throw back boxer Monte Barrett in a ten round heavyweight showdown. It was a back and forth brawl with Guinn and Barrett both having their moments, but when the smoke cleared, Barrett got the nod over Guinn via split decision victory.
Since the Barrett loss, Guinn has gone back and forth in the win column. It took Dominick only 23 seconds of the first round to dispose of the tough journeyman Phil Jackson, but five months later, in a lackadaisical performance, Guinn lost to a then-virtually unknown heavyweight named Sergei Liahkovich, who the WBO strap garnishes today. Months after his second loss, Guinn fought to a draw against Nigerian Friday Ahunanya and then challenged the superior tactician James Toney for the IBA heavyweight belt, losing unanimously.
In April of this year, Guinn took out former Olympian Audley Harrison; winning a ten-round unanimous decision but this past summer, fell to his fourth defeat at the hands of Tony Thompson. Despite the lack of fire and the downward spiral Dominick has fallen into, the thirty-one year old heavyweight declares that he isn’t finished and will be back with a vengeance in the near future. Teaming up once again with trainer Ronnie Shields, Dominick is back in the gym and confidently states the fire is back and so is he.
In this exclusive Doghouse Boxing interview, Guinn gets candid in his thoughts and recent happenings. Enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr: What have you been up to since your last outing?
Dominick Guinn: After my last loss, I went home, sat down with my family who has always been behind me and supported me. Well, they asked me what I wanted to do. Did I want to do this anymore or did I want to hang it up? I told them that I am not giving this up. I felt like I overtrained for my last fight and did too much sparring and running. Actually, I hated it because I never want to be looked at as they were saying in the fight. Teddy Atlas saying that I should retire, this and that. I am shot. Well, I hate stuff like that. So I told my wife, kids and my sister that I am going to bust my butt from now on like I have been doing, and I will not give them anymore chances to say what they have been saying about me, that I am shot and at the end of my rope. I am fixing to change it all around and show you what God can do for somebody that you thought was finished.
BH: Give us your thoughts and over all view on your last match-up against Tony Thompson.
DG: I really thought that I got whipped from pillar to post. From the third round on, I was shot. I really think that I overtrained and I didn’t know you could over train. I never done it to where I was tired like that. The middle of the third round I was dead tired. My legs felt like I had cement in them. I just fought on. I wouldn’t let it stop me. I really knew that would really get me down if I quit or went down and didn’t get back up and to know that they would talk about that the rest of my career. So it was all about me surviving. I didn’t have anything. I left my fight on that track and in the sparring; I was sparring 10 and 12 rounds everyday. But I will be back. I can’t go back in the past and dwell on it but I know these guys can’t beat me and they know it. Tony Thompson, Sergei Liahkovich, all the guys that I lost to; they know that I gave them a gift, but everything happens for a reason and like I say, at the end of everyday I will be back. Now I am going to show you. I hate to have to talk about it. I am just going to take these fights one day at a time. I just hope one of these champs out there or a rising star wants to test me and give me a chance. I will get back to the top again.
BH: I am just going to come out and ask: In your opinion, what has been the root of the problem? It’s like there’s no fire at times in your fight game. You have the talent, no doubt, but it appears there is a mental block of some sort. What do you feel will get you out of that rut?
DG: The root of my problem was, I am going to say this, dwelling on the first loss. The one loss I got when I went to Arkansas; I have been dwelling on it and I have really been holding myself back thinking about “What if?” I still find myself, to this day, sitting there thinking if I would have never lost, I would be here or be there. I think that is what I have been doing just holding myself back, I get in the ring and I go back to thinking about it. The one I can’t change, so all I can do is keep moving forward, I am more complete with myself now than I was after the Barrett fight. I won’t say that it was a mental block because I was still able to think, but I was thinking too much. I never went back to the Toney fight or Liahkovich. I went back to the Barrett fight. That fight really sent me on the down slide, and that’s what I have been holding myself back on. In that one fight, I finally just let go. I talked to Monte a few days before he fought that big Russian (WBA heavyweight titlist Nicolay Valuev), and I am going to turn it all around for now and prove myself. I am going to get the fights and I will show you that I am better than what I was before.
BH: You were with (trainer Joe) Goossen (before) but now just recently got back with Ronnie Shields. Can you give us the insight on that matter?
DG: I loved being out there with Joe. Joe brought things to the table and Ronnie brings things to the table. After the loss, I came back home and sat myself down I said, “Hey, I am going to go back to where I got it all started; back to where I used to let my hands go. Not saying that Joe took anything away from that but I wanted to come back home and this is where I am going to end my career at. I went out there and tried new things and now I am back with Ronnie. You are fixing to see great things from Dominick Guinn again. I can’t really do a lot of talking. I just have to go out there and prove all the naysayers wrong and that “The Southern Disaster” is brewing.
BH: What would you say to the naysayers that say ole’ Dominick Guinn is done?
DG: Put their money on it. I am glad. I just turned 31. What would make me say that I am done? I have four losses only on my record and never have been down. At the end of the day, us boxers still have one of the hardest professions that there is. We could use a couple of fights and be considered washed up and a damn bum. You can have a football team loose 16 games in a row and come back next year and win a Super Bowl and they are considered champions. Why can’t we look at it both ways? I just wish that the people who are out there talking would just step in the ring for a little while.
BH: You still have a legion of supporters who believe in you. If you could send out a personal message to
them, what would it be?
DG: I am really happy about that and to my supporters all I can say is thank you. And if you have been there, I know that you will continue to support me and we will be together when I do it.
BH: Anything in closing?
DG: What I want to say is that you haven’t seen the last of Dominick Guinn. Whatever you want to call me, you haven’t seen the last of me. I have been busting my butt and in my mind, I am all the way back where I need to be and all I can do is show you. To the boxing fans, if you want to see me in a fight, then hey, put it out there and let them (the promoters and networks) know who you want me to fight because I will fight anybody. Will they come fight me? Will they take a chance and come fight me if I am so washed up? That is the only question I have. I will fight anybody, but can I get the fight? Will Don King make the fight with the big Russian (Valuev) and me? Can I get a rematch with Liahkovich or Thompson? None of them guys ever want to fight me again and they know they caught me on a bad day. One thing about it, I can’t get a rematch with James Toney. I can’t get a rematch with the guy. The guys who have the four wins on me will never mention my name again, or if they did mention it, it was only because they were happy that they won, but I can’t get a rematch. I am here and I will be back. I am going to bust my butt. I do have a closing statement for heavyweight Alvin Manley, but I am going to call him Alvin ‘Womanly.’ Little Rock, Arkansas has been trying to make (a fight) between myself and him on the (World Middleweight Champion Jermain) Taylor-(Kassim) Ouma undercard (scheduled for December 9 at The Alltel Arena in North Little Rock). I already said that I would fight him for nothing. Now they are trying to make the fight and if he is so bad, then in Arkansas, this shouldn’t be a hard fight to make. He said he was the best heavyweight in Arkansas and I am trying to come back home to Arkansas and what better way to do it then to beat on this fat, out-of-shape peach bear. That’s about it.
I would like to thank Dominick Guinn for taking the time out to speak to the Doghouse. For more info in Guinn visit http://www.myspace.com/thesoutherndiaster.
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